In Peru a romantic bear costume helps catch drug traffickers

In Peru, a romantic bear costume helps catch drug traffickers

A Peruvian police unit, one of whom was dressed as a bear, faked a romantic visit to arrest two female members of a drug trafficking gang in Lima on Tuesday, the eve of Valentine's Day.

Undercover investigators discovered that two women were selling cocaine paste and marijuana in a house in the San Martin de Porres neighborhood in the north of the capital.

And a police officer took part in the raid, “dressed as a teddy bear for the occasion,” national police brigade chief Col. Walter Palomino told AFP.

The officer, dressed as an orange bear and carrying a red balloon and a sign reading “You are my reason to smile,” knelt outside the drug dealer's home.

He then waited for one of the two women to leave the house, whereupon she was arrested with the assistance of other officers. They then broke into the house and arrested the other woman.

“It was a surprise act for them on the occasion of the day of love,” the disguised sergeant told AFP.

For some time now, the police have been catching disguised criminals and launching operations on certain dates.

According to the police, the two women – a mother and her daughter – belong to the “Las tramposas de la droga” (drug fraudsters) gang. Hundreds of packages of drugs were confiscated from her home.

According to the Interior Ministry, Peruvian authorities seized 21.5 tons of cocaine in 2023 and dismantled 119 criminal networks linked to drug trafficking.

According to official figures, Peru is one of the largest cocaine producers in the world, producing around 400 tonnes per year.

A kilo of cocaine paste sells for at least $380 in Peru, while a kilo of cocaine hydrochloride – the purest drug – costs around $1,000.

Along with Bolivia, Peru is also one of the largest producers of coca leaves – the raw material for cocaine – after Colombia.